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December 28, 2010

Year in Review: Places of 2010

I'm stepping away, a little bit, from politics in today's yearly review to recall the places that dominated news cycles. Some of these places are just plain amazing, some are just plain scary, and some are just plain. For sure, what happened in these places last year will color national and international events in the future.


The earthquake outside PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI becomes the first in a series of natural disasters that seize global attention in 2010. The quake mobilized charities and motivated celebrities. The U.S. government ultimately sent more than $379 million and two former presidents to help . . . as well as 16,000 military Service members.


The shortest month was a bit better. On the one hand WASHINGTON, DC suffered its infamous "Snowpocalypse" aka "Snowmageddon" aka "SNOMG", depending on which federal department's press release you read. They're still talking about it here.

The Winter Olympics in VANCOUVER also dominated media coverage this month, as major sports events tend to do. On the one hand, the U.S. team won the most medals (37) and some events I'd never heard of before seemed to be on everyone's mind (curling, anyone?). On the other hand, it was also the excuse DrewM took to introduce hockey to the HQ.

Finally, the confusingly named WYOMING, MINNESOTA finally made it on the map. For this. Okay, I said I was only stepping a little away from politics.


Most of the news in March was spent on the politics of ObamaCare passage. But many outlets, including the HQ, took a short break from that to talk about a relatively obscure club in WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA. It's a place I'd just as soon forget, the Voyeur nightclub. Was Voyeur "arty-dirty" or just "dirty-dirty"? Either way, it was another in a string of missteps from the RNC this year.


April saw another natural disaster, the eruption of EYJAFJALLAJOKULL in Iceland. It dropped ash throughout Europe, closing airports and stirring fears of airline bankruptcies. Some commentary also focused on the global cooling effects of volcanic eruptions. Hey, you don't think the unusually cold weather the northern hemisphere is experiencing this winter has nothing to do with it, do you?

April also introduced us to a place I'm sure we'd all rather forget: the MACONDO PROSPECT. You've already forgotten it? It's the place the Deepwater Horizon sank in the Gulf of Mexico. Though most people seem to have moved on, the BP oilspill shaped a substantial part of the news cycle this spring and summer, including a million comparisons to President Bush's Katrina response.


On the first of the month, Pakistan-born citizen Faisal Shahzad tried to detonate a car bomb in Times Square. At the end of the month, the nation was arguing quite nastily over plans to put a mosque at Ground Zero, making NEW YORK CITY the focus of an extraordinary amount of ink.

Also popping up on the radar, GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA. For this.


In the summer, the U.S. and the world turned to the most-watched television event in history: the 2010 FIFA World Cup, hosted in SOUTH AFRICA. Of course, I used the opportunity to introduce one of my favorite sports to the HQ.


Yet another disaster struck in August, with a cave-in at the San Jose Mine in COPIAPO, CHILE. Thirty-three miners were trapped for 69 days. Yes, there's going to be a movie.

Also in August, election season took a turn. After a series of victories, the Tea Party went from zero to FLAMING DEATH! and that put DELAWARE on the media map. In September, serial candidate Christine O'Donnell whupped RINO Rep. Mike Castle after a fraught primary campaign.


Honestly, I can't remember what happened in October. It's from the dark time, when it was all election politics, all the time.


Parcel bombs are delivered to many foreign embassies in GREECE. This followed the parcel bomb plot in which explosive packages were sent from YEMEN. Unfortunately, just as everything old is new again, this seems to be a fresh tactic for terrorists. Parcel bombs would continue to trouble the West for the rest of the year.


MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA becomes a viral sensation:

What's on the map for next year?

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 08:30 AM

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